thrash metal

Weekend Metal (Beneath the Wheel)

Thrash Zone: Detail of cover art by Sam Leyja for D.R.I., 1989

Yeah, it’s just one of those songs. Absolutely … perfect.

Beneath the wheel! Go! Don’t be late! First one out of the starting gate! Run! Be on time! First one to cross the finish line! Swim ahead of the school; if you have to, cheat! If you never slow down you’ll never be beat! If you lose in life it’s because you lagged! Keep up with the traffic or you’ll get dragged down beneath the wheel! Go! Don’t be tardy! Fell asleep last night at a party! Run! Make the grade! School’s a job! You don’t get paid! Run at the head of the pack, be the leader in this race! Stay up front Just in case! If you lose in life it’s because you lagged! Keep up with the traffic or you’ll get dragged down beneath the wheel! Don’t play child’s games, they’re just a waste of mind! Study every night or you might fall behind! Dragged down beneath the wheel! Stop! You can’t win! But you can always catch up in the end!

D.R.I., “Beneath the Wheel” (1989)


Your Morning Metal (Beer Bong)

Detail of cover art for 'Socialized Hate' by Atrophy (Roadrunner Records, 1988)

TURD: Oh, come on, do you really need the unfortunately requisite disclaimer about binge drinking?

Beer bong! suck it down! Beer bong! don’t do it wrong! Beer bong! don’t take too long, or else you’ll down! Beer bong! gulp it down! Beer bong! if you can! Beer bong! make it vanish if you’re a man! Heidelberg! Dutch Treat! Black Label! Beer bong! it’s very clear! Beer bong! you must be daring! Beer bong! or else the beer you’ll be wearing! Beer bong! and tomorrow―Beer bong! when I wake―Beer bong!―to my sorrow, my head will ache! Meister Brau! Blatz! Grain Belt! Old Milwaukee! Pearl! Shaeffer!​

Atrophy, “Beer Bong” (1988)


A Brief Note on Headbanging

In the 1980s, you could easily mark four bands as the dominant names in what we know as speed or thrash metal. Strangely, they all survived the period.

  • Anthrax
  • Megadeth
  • Metallica
  • Slayer

It’s not that nobody else made it through, but it seems somehow striking that these four did.

Anthrax - Among The LivingTo the other, I couldn’t tell you, without looking up their wiki entries, about any number of bands. But Nuclear Assault, The Forbidden, Panic, D.R.I. …. I’d like to think that the fact that so many of the bands I adored in my teenage angst lived to tell the tale says something about my artistic taste, but at the same time, so many of them didn’t. Agony Column? (Six six six guns … for Satan!) What is Flotsam and Jetsam doing these days? Apparently, any number of these bands turn up on the club circuit, but I’ve managed to see the big four at arena shows in recent years, and perhaps it is a pervading sense of nostalgia, but I’m not sure how many of them actually expected to see the twenty-first century.

No, there isn’t any real point. Maudlin nostalgia, I guess.